Ratified CREATE bill to cushion impact of automation on employment

Senator Joel Villanueva lauded Congress’ ratification of the proposed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law that would now cover training incentives to cushion the impact of automation in employment and upskill workers.

At the same time, Villanueva challenged the Department of Finance (DoF) and the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to fulfill the pledge that more than one million new jobs will be created once the CREATE Bill is enacted into law and implemented by the executive department.

On Wednesday afternoon, Villanueva expressed support the Senate’s ratification of the bill which was approved by the Bicameral Conference Committee.  The CREATE bill seeks to lower corporate income tax (CIT) and amend the country’s tax incentives system.

“I support the provision under CREATE to reduce the Corporate Income Tax (CIT) rates, which for so many years have been so uninviting to investors. This will be a huge relief especially to our medium and small-scale enterprises that are reeling from the economic turmoil brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and the calamities that struck the country,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva thanked his fellow legislators, particularly the sponsors of the CREATE bill, for accepting his proposals calling for the “expansion of tax deductibility of training expense, specifically including dual or enterprise-based trainings for students in senior high school, technical-vocational, and tertiary education.”

“This will help address the jobs-skills mismatch in the country and improve employability of our graduates,” said Villanueva, chair of the Senate labor committee.

“Kaya’t pinagtuunan po natin ng pansin ang TRAINING ng mga manggagawa. Skills upgrading po ang nakikita nating solusyon para protektahan ang trabaho ng ating mga kababayan,” Villanueva said.

In his speech, Villanueva said he was holding the country’s finance managers to their pledge that the proposed CREATE law would attract PHP12-trillion worth of local and foreign investments in the next decade and create more than 1.8 million jobs in the next 10 years.

“I pose this challenge to the members of the FIRB and the relevant agencies: Since the beginning of the deliberations of this measure, the DoF has continuously assured us that jobs and livelihood will be promoted and created, and not destroyed. Like how CREATE makes incentives recipients accountable to their promises, I hope it applies to the FIRB and the DoF as well,” Villanueva said.

“Handa po tayong makipagtulungan sa ating mga ahensya sa paglikha ng trabaho subalit magbabantay din po tayo para hindi naman mapako ang mga pangakong trabaho sa ilalim ng CREATE law,” Villanueva said.

“These jobs must be real, and not imagined. Our projections may be good on paper but if it does not materialize as hoped, we will fail our people miserably,” he added. “We need to create jobs for our people as we continue to jumpstart our economy back to the pink of health.”